Ad Nut
Oct 29, 2018

No more giveaways: Virgin now wants people to earn their points

After a supposed mistake by an intern cost it a billion frequent-flier points, Virgin Australia is now making loyalty members perform if they want bonus rewards.

The 2017 'Billion point giveaway'—which won a Creative Effectiveness Spike, plus a platinum award, five golds, two silvers and two bronzes in the Tangrams a month ago at Spikes Asia—was an elaborate, high-concept campaign for Virgin Australia by CHE Proximity. A series of videos told the story of a hapless intern who inadvertently forced the company to hand out a billion (rather than a million) Velocity Frequent Flier (VFF) points.

Compared with that, the new 'Earnbassadors' campaign, which launched today, seems like simplicity itself. Do something clever and hashtag it appropriately, and the company might award you with points.

The interesting bit is not the 'call to earns' video (above), but the back-end process in play. The companies say user-generated content will be monitored, ranked and scored using a purpose-built tool called ‘Earnie’, which is "part AI, part human". It uses IBM Watson to analyse creativity, reach and relevance to "the brief". 'Earnie' will also, in real time, identify content that it should repurpose and invest in with media spend, according to the companies.

This approach rewards people for their creativity, rather than the size of their social-media followings, Ant White, chief creative officer at CHE Proximity, noted in a release. Virgin says there are millions of points available in the first round of the campaign.

Ad Nut likes that this concept is straightforward and simple for the consumer, yet has the potential to yield a well optimised spend for the brand. The democratisation of rewards, beyond the usual content-creation suspects, is also appealing. Ad Nut will be watching with interest. 


Chief Marketing Officer - Dean Chadwick
Head of Customer Marketing - Steve Baird
Leader, Customer Growth - Tara Nair-Stuber
Marketing Specialist - Lyndall Gannon
Lead Content & Creative - Gemma Myhill
Performance Marketing Manager - Rino Do
Digital Product Manager – Websites and Content - Belle Landry

Chief Creative Officer – Ant White
Group Creative Directors – Brian Jefferson, Hamish Stewart
Associate Creative Directors - Ashley Wildling, Daniel Davison
Senior Copywriter -  Zac Pritchard
Senior Art Director – Nico Smith
Senior Designers – Trent Michael, Vanessa Saporito
Head of Strategic Production – Holly Alexander
Production Assistant – Katena Valestro

Planning and Media
Managing Director and Chief Strategic Officer – David Halter
Head of Media – Calvin Cain
Experience Strategists – Lucy Bowers, Hannah Garcia, Will McClure
Director, Data Science - James Greaney

Account Management
Managing Partner – Renee Hyde
Group Account Director – Sam McGown
Account Director – George Robertson
Account Executive – Caitlin Adler

Director, Strategic Production - Holly Alexander
Technical Director Product & Comms – Matthew Rose
Digital Products Director - Anthony Harca
Production Manager - Natalie Hort
Senior Editor - King Yong

EP/Founder:  Rob Galluzzo
EP:  Corey Esse
Director:  Toby Pike
Producer:  Marge McInnes
Casting:  Peta Einberg
DOP:  Dan Freene
Edit: Arc
Motion Design Director:  Mike Tosetto
Lead Motion Designer:  Phil Tibballs

Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.


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